MBE strategy books

I received the “Mastering the MBE” book by John J. Talamano in the mail last weekend, and I just finished it yesterday. Although I thought the first couple of chapters were a little condescending, once the author gets into the meat of the MBE he actually offers a lot of helpful information. It’s not a very in-depth analysis of the MBE but it’s a good starter book. Talamano offers several strategies for encountering MBE questions, some of which I found to be helpful, but there were a couple of strategies that I thought were extreme. For instance, Talamano recommends turning each MBE question into an essay by writing it out. He also talks about skipping questions and to plan ahead of time which questions to skip. That seems to be setting yourself up for failure. I’d rather guess at a question and have a 25% chance of getting it right than skipping it completely. I need every point I can get! I guess if you’re running out of time it would be useful, but not for me.

I ended up marking several pages for future reference, and I also typed some notes out of the book. I would recommend this book to anyone as a warm-up to studying for the MBE.

I received my “Strategies & Tactics for the MBE” book by Kimm Walton and Steve Emanuel in the mail the other day so I just started reading that book. At first I was overwhelmed by the thickness of the book but after skimming the pages I realized that most of the pages are devoted to the over 500 MBE practice questions. The book also has sections devoted to each MBE subject which appeals to me.

I also started doing MBE practice questions this week and typing out the answer explanations. I know I said I was going to write them down on a legal pad, but I’ve always studied by typing all through law school. I’ve been using MBE software for my practice questions so it’s easier to type the explanations in Word than to drag out a legal pad and write it out.


6 thoughts on “MBE strategy books

  1. I read Talamo’s book. It was OK. His idea of going one by one through the questions did help but for me anyway I found it to be another form of overkill (instead of doing zillions of MBEs, hyperfocusing on each and every question). I found a happy medium between the two that seems to work OK for me.

    I like S&T but that print is so tiny it bugs me. 🙂 I have so many MBE questions I never quite get to that book. But I find having each answer choice discussed is extremely helpful (and is the reason I prefer the blue PMBR book to the red one).

  2. I did notice that the S&T print is rather small. I figured the font would be the same as in those great Emanuel outlines, but I guess not.

    I didn’t like Talamano’s suggestion of turning each MBE question into an “essay” and also the skipping technique. I don’t really agree with that since I need every single point (inadvertent or not) that I can get.

  3. I LOVED the S&T book…..My scores improved dramatically after reading the section on each subject that precedes the questions. Plus, I thought it was good to practice on questions that were actually given in a bar exam. The PMBR books were good as well; Barbri’s version of MBE questions sucked!

  4. Ok, so you should check out the Finz book, they made us do it the first year of law school. You can borrow my copy, as long as I get it back by Feb’s bar. I’ve also got the law in flash, flash cards. I’m sure if I would have used them, they might have been helpful. Keep up the good work!

  5. Blonde, I’m glad to hear your scores went up after reading this book so it must be pretty effective. I still haven’t gotten through the Strategics and Tactics book yet but I’m trying to read a section a day.

  6. dazed, I was under the impression that the Finz book was for people taking the California 1L exam and not the MBE? Thanks so much for generously offering your materials!

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